Starting any business is always a major undertaking. Yet, if the skills, knowledge, desire and determination is there, most people can realize a lifelong dream.
Thinking about starting your own home business? What type are you anticipating? One of the most profitable home businesses has been in the travel field. People are searching for discount travel opportunities and their first reach is at their computer.
Never before in the history of man has there been so many traveling. The world is vast and people travel for pleasure, interest, careers, and the list goes on. Not everyone is knowledgeable enough and some simply do not have the time to plan a trip. Most of us need the assistance of a professional.
In the last twenty years, traveling has been an economical standard as well as a necessity. Getting away from it all, traveling for school or business, everyone is going everywhere.
If you plan to start a home business as a travel agent, there are certain things you need to consider, do and work through.
Let’s begin by talking about your background in the field. Do you have what it takes to be a travel agent? If not, you might want to take a few courses in Becoming a Travel Agent or Success in the Travel Agency Field. These courses are offered at community colleges, online, through seminars or even by independent travel agencies. Find a few to see what is required and offered at sites like ASTA.
Travel agents must have the ability to converse in several languages. Not only will you be working with foreign agencies, you will be intermixing with people from all over the world. Travelers come from every background, nationality and locale. Therefore, a travel agent who only communicates in English already has one vital strike against them. Take courses to help you learn how to speak languages such as Spanish, French even German might be of a benefit.
Excellent Computer skills are essential. Ninety percent of the work and research performed will be through the computer. Being capable and able to navigate the different sites with ease and accuracy will be a major plus when working in travel.
An impeccable knowledge of Geography is vital. There is nothing more irritating than attempting to obtain and plan a trip with someone who does not have the slightest idea where “Zanzibar” is located. Travel agents should have a vast knowledge of the world and in which country a city is located. If Geography was not a strong course in school, take it now while contemplating a career in the travel field. Is it always a good idea to know the world for travel ventures; it is also a good idea during the situation our economy is in.
As in any business, being well organized is of tremendous importance. If you are already a well-organized person, you have half the battle won. However, if organization is not your forte, consider another business or take a course in organizational skills. Yes, organizing can be taught. A travel agent must be organized, accurate and detail oriented. Skills necessary in assuring travel itineraries are planned, scheduled and defined before booking a client’s trip are vital. You want to make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed.
Customer Service skills are those skills crucial to all businesses. Excellent People skills will make a company. Not having excellent people skills has been the downfall of thousands. Customer service defines the importance a company places on the person who patronizes them. Either hire people you know are skilled in handling “people” or use the assistance of a hiring agency.
A travel agent must have the ability to sell. Sales is one of those skills you either have or do not. A sales man is born not created. If you have the gift of selling, you have what it takes. If you don’t have sales skills, hire a person who can sell the hair off a cat.
There is nothing travel agents say is more rewarding than being in the field of travel. They would not take any other career over the one offering them excitement in addition to being very lucrative. With minimal skills and a minor investment, anyone can become a travel agent.